Local Artist of The Month
Birds and Arrows began back in 2007 as a husband and wife duo. Andrea Connolly wielded the guitar as Pete commanded the drums. On appearance, most people might have shrugged off the music. With two people who are stuck together for better or worse, how much could their music really have to offer? Their first batch of EPs easily dismissed these notions. The instrumentation seemed to amount to so much more than just a couple on stage. Their vocals complemented each other perfectly and made the music so much stronger than bands who enlist a whole army on stage. In 2009, cellist Josh Starmer joined the line-up adding a whole other dimension to their already incredible sound. His cello lines swimming in and out of the music along with their sweet, melodic voices. Their calming breed of chamber indie-folk is an incredibly refreshing sound to fans of any type of music.
Since their inception, they have toured heavily throughout the Carolinas as well as several stints up and down the east coast. They have performed at several WKNC events including last year’s Double Barrel Benefit as well as Local Band Local Beer. In their six years of existence, they have perfected their live show engaging a wide variety of audiences. They make those who have no experience with folk music sway with their beautifully arranged music and their smooth, infectious melodies. Their third full length Coyotes, is due out March 19th. This album promises to be their best effort to date. They recently released the music video for their first single “Firefly” from the upcoming album in Shuffle Magazine. Their tour dates for their upcoming east coast tour are here. Be sure to check them out Thursday, March 14 at 6pm as we interview them live at WKNC for our Local Artist of the Month segment!
This Durham-based musical project takes its name from one of the most intriguing and diverse trees in the world. It is the national tree of Madagascar, and it is impossible to find two that are the same. Much of the same could be said for Phil Torres. His music is a very unique blend of folk, electronic, and world music. His music is driven by acoustic guitar, a plethora of percussive noises, a splash of melodic electronic noises, and his vocals which seem to be an instrument of their own. His self-titled debut was released last year and already it has taken much of the Triangle by hold. It is incredible how one man could have written, performed, mixed, and mastered such a complex album on his own especially since it is his first effort.
Phil Torres, in addition to fronting Baobab, has a MS in neuroscience and spent a year as a visiting graduate student in the philosophy department at Harvard. He has just published his first book entitled A Crisis of Faith: Atheism, Emerging Technologies and the Future of Humanity. Whitney Trettien joins Torres on-stage for live shows. She is a Ph.D. student in English at Duke University. Despite their busy lives and amazing intellect, they still find time to wow us lesser mortals with their inspiring music. They are a spectacle to see live as they loop guitars and synths over vocals complete with live drumming. In addition to the music, Torres also makes some interesting videos to accompany some of his songs.
Baobab can be seen touring at various venues around the Triangle. With a double album release party coming up on the 22nd with Virgins Family Band at the Local 506, we can look forward to some great things ahead. This album, aptly titled BAYOHBAHB, will be released by Hand Eye Records. After playing for a year now with these first batch of songs, we can expect Torres’ restless spirit to have somehow found a way to improve upon his already perfected craft of beautiful, percussive acoustics with complementing electronics. With a project that started for Torres as a retreat from writing his book, we can only hope that Baobab has become as important to Torres as it has to the Triangle music scene.
Check out the interview and in-studio performance with Phil Torres accompanied by the Virgins Family Band below which also included some exclusive premieres off the upcoming album BAYOHBAHB.